Thursday, December 10, 2009

Heart Dog

I was never a dog person, much preferring cats. Who wouldn't prefer sleek feline independence to slavish canine slobbering? Cats are much neater and far less demanding than dogs. A cat is never going to wake you up at 3:30 in the morning because it has to pee. A cat won't bug you for a game of fetch, barking at you endlessly to throw the frisbee, Throw the Frisbee, THROWTHEFRISBEE!!!!!!!!! No, indeed. A cat has way too much dignity to lower itself to ask you for anything. Cats are cool.

Imagine the surprise felt by my family when the WCM and I went and got ourselves a puppy. It was September 1996, shortly after a shocking and emotionally traumatic miscarriage. I needed desperately to mother something, anything, to help heal the huge hole left in my heart from losing a baby I'd barely known existed but had wanted with every fiber of my being. The WCM suggested a puppy.

I'd long loved the look of the big-eared, short-legged Welsh Corgi. Having found a breeder, I learned that she had only one puppy available: a little black-headed tricolor boy. We went to visit him that night, and I fell instantly in love. He was a charmer - playful, affectionate, loved to cuddle. The WCM wasn't exactly convinced, as he wanted a larger dog - a Lab or a Shepherd - but he caved instantly when I found out that this puppy and I shared a birthday.

We had to name him after a dance, according to the breeder, so we named him Electric Slide and called him Slider. He became my firstborn, my furry son, my heart dog. I taught him to catch treats out of the air, to play fetch with a frisbee, and to sit on command. He used to snuggle up on my lap and fall asleep as a puppy, and would always come over if I sat on the floor, giving me his belly to scratch. He used to love riding in the front seat of the car. Too short to get his head out the window, he'd press his nose up against one of the air vents instead.

As he got older, we got him a pet - another corgi that we named Zippy - so he wouldn't be lonely while we weren't home. Zippy's a trip. Where Slider thinks he's a furry human, Zippy knows he's a dog. Make no mistake, Zippy's an animal, and he's happy to be one. For ten years, they have run the house together, and I have loved every minute of it. I, who was never a dog person.

Slider is now thirteen and a half years old. He's got arthritis, has gone deaf, and is going blind. Today, we found out conclusively that he has lymphoma and hasn't got much longer to live. I do not know what I am going to do when I have to take him for that final ride in the car. I can't stop crying.

My heart hurts.



  • My heart goes out to you.
    It has been almost 8 years since I brought my beloved Jack on his last car ride.
    I had put it off longer than I should have..having lugged his 120 pound mass outside 4 times a day becuause he could no longer descend the stairs.

    It's a day I shall never forget and his last act was a lick on my hand as his eyes closed..which I take as a it's Okay.
    Gawd I still can't even write about this.

    By Blogger Donn, At 2:43 PM  

  • Thank you, Donn. I'm still a mess over it.

    By Blogger Peevish McSnark, At 3:56 PM  

  • Shane: a golden Lab who bounded and was unbounded by a needle. I still miss him.

    My sister has just adopted two kittens called Mouser and Molly.

    I miss Oscar, the only male tabby it was possible to use as a Frisbee in Christendom.

    By Blogger garfer, At 6:00 PM  

  • I think I made a comment on Facebook about this, but I just remembered your blog again and read this. If a dog can be a Mensch, Slider is one. Solid as a rock and as considerate as a canine could possibly be. I will miss him too. *BIG HUGS*

    By Blogger FrauDrK, At 5:46 PM  

  • I'm so sorry you're hurting.

    By OpenID onthecurb, At 12:31 AM  

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